Skip to comments.A Spy Among Us?
Posted on 07/31/2006 8:49:42 AM PDT by jpl
It could be the plot of a Cold War thriller: A Soviet mole burrows into America's top biodefense lab and steals strains of the deadly viruses that cause Rift Valley and Lassa fevers.
He ships the killer microbes back to Moscow in the bags of Aeroflot pilots, who turn them over to a super-secret arm of the KGB that plots bioterror attacks.
(Excerpt) Read more at baltimoresun.com ...
Thanks for the ping to this and remembering my interest in this matter.
I'm not buying what this reporter is selling. I'm not saying there wasn't a mole, but I don't think that person had anything to do with the October 2001 anthrax attacks.
It's just too coincidental that:
9/11 Hijacker sought treatment for red hands (anthrax).
October 11, 2001. Palm Beach Post.
Tabloid Editor rented apartment to two 9/11 hijackers. The tabloid lost a worker to anthrax.
October 15, 2001. Miami Herald.
Hijackers linked to anthrax.
October 15, 2001. St. Petersburg Times.
9/11 Hijackers treated for anthrax.
March 23, 2002. The New York Times.
April 20, 2002. The Weekly Standard.
Hijacker treated for anthrax.
May 9, 2002. The Wall Street Journal.
Atta tried to buy a cropduster.
June 6, 2002. ABC.
Analysis of anthrax letters.
June 19, 2002. Instapundit.
The silica used in the anthrax attacks traced to Iraq.
October 28, 2002. The Washington Post.
Freeper polemikos list of links to investigations regarding anthrax.
December 26, 2003.
Evidence Iraq behind anthrax attacks.
January 1, 2004. Accuracy in Media
Saddam behind anthrax attacks and 9/11 attacks.
Thanks for the ping. Here's a new briefing I came across:
Some of the highlights are statements by Dr Michael Callahan who is presently a DARPA program manager.
Unfortunately, several disquieting observations of the October 2001
anthrax attack using the U.S. mail system merit emphasis. First, the
attack illustrated that advanced expertise had readily been exploited
by a bioterrorist; the preparation in the Daschle letter contained
extraordinarily high concentrations of purified endospores. Second, the
spore preparation was coated with an incipient which helped retard
electrostatic attraction, thus increasing aerosolization of the agent.
Third, the choice of the near-ubiquitous Ames strain, combined with the
absence of forensic details in either the agent or the letters,
indicate that the terrorist is scientifically informed, wary of
detection and extremely dangerous.
It could be that the mole supplied the Ames strain to the Soviet Union. After that the Soviets could have supplied just about anyone.
That's a good point.
I have NO clue about the veracity of these stories, but one cannot ignore the Russian attempt to protect Saddam and who was there caught fleeing in a convoy to Syria.
Think of the leftist accusations "IF" the claim could be made it (anthrax) was hatched right here in the good old US of A.
I bring it up because the weaponization method of the spores appears to have Soviet Union written all over it.
In 1998 Ken Alibek was interviewed by Richard Preston for an article titled "The Bioweaponeers" published in the New Yorker[http://web.elastic.org/~fche/mirrors/cryptome.org/bioweap.htm]. In this interview Alibek disclosed details of a new advancement in Soviet dry powder anthrax technology. Preston wrote "The Alibekov anthrax became fully operational in 1989. It is an amber-gray powder, finer than bath talc, with smooth, creamy particles that tend to fly apart and vanish in the air, becoming invisible and drifting for miles. The Alibekov anthrax is four times more efficient than the standard product."
Alibek also disclosed to Preston that the Alibekov anthrax contained two additives. Preston wrote "The Alibekov anthrax is simple, and the formula is somewhat surprising, not quite what you'd expect. Two unrelated materials are mixed with pure powdered anthrax spores. It took a lot of research and testing to get the trick right, and Alibek must have driven his research group hard and skillfully to arrive at it."
Although Alibek revealed to Preston the identities of the two materials, Preston did not publish them. However, in the same year, Alibek was also interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a documentary titled "Red Lies" [http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/bioweapons/redlies.html]. This documentary outlined the Soviet's continued development of advanced anthrax dry powder technology even after the Sverdlovsk accident killed up to one hundred people. The "Red Lies" documentary did provide details of the additives, stating "In the years since the Sverdlovsk accident, Alibek and a research team had taken the Soviet military's anthrax and made it even more deadly. He developed a process to take ground up anthrax spores and coat each particle in plastic and resin. It kept the anthrax aloft four times longer, increasing its ability to infect people."
These details have to be compared to descriptions of the 2001 senate anthrax that were leaked to the media in the period 2002-2003. The first set of leaks were made to Newsweek [ http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/sophisticatedstrainanthrax.html] , CNN [ http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/unusualcoating.html] and the Washigton Post[ http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/anthraxpowdernotroutine.html]in April 2002. Newsweek wrote "The Leahy anthrax -- mailed in an envelope that was recovered unopened from a Washington post office last November -- also was coated with a chemical compound unknown to experts who have worked in the field for years; the coating matches no known anthrax samples ever recovered from biological-weapons producers anywhere in the world, including Iraq and the former Soviet Union. The combination of the intense milling of the bacteria and the unusual coating produced an anthrax powder so fine and fluffy that individually coated anthrax spores were found in the Leahy envelope, something that U.S. bioweapons experts had never seen."
The second set of leaks were made to the Washington Post [ http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/fbisecretlyrecreate.html] in November 2002 who wrote "Investigators and experts have said the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were uniformly between 1 and 3 microns in size, and were coated with fine particles of frothy silica glass." In November 2003 Science Magazine [ http://www.angelfire.com/blog/sophie_d2/Anthrax_Science.pdf] reported that in addition to silica the senate anthrax contained "polymerized glass" and its purpose was to chemically bind the silica to the surface of the spores. Some speculate that the similarities between the descriptions of the Alibekov anthrax and the senate anthrax demonstrate a link to technology secretly developed in the Soviet Union in the late 1980's. Now, if the Soviets also got the Ames strain from a mole at Detrick they have all the elements necessary to make the 2001 anthrax.
I remember reading that which is why I've never bought it was a homegrown terrorist. That and the "coincidence" that some of the 9/11 hijackers had what people later recognized as cutaneous anthrax.
And yet the statement "the coating matches no known anthrax samples ever recovered from biological-weapons producers anywhere in the world, including Iraq and the former Soviet Union" doesn't it with Alibek's statements to Richard Preston and CBC in 1998. Alibek's 1998 statements sound EXACTLY like the 2001 anthrax powder.
Interestingly, Alibek's comments AFTER the 2001 attacks seem to be geared towards putting as much distance as possible between himself and the technology of silica coatings and amber-gray powders, finer than bath talc, with smooth, creamy particles that tend to fly apart and vanish in the air, becoming invisible and drifting for miles.
Here's some examples:
Talking about anthrax, I know something about this powder sent to different locations. Unfortunately I cannot disclose my source of information. I saw, let me say, some pictures. Without getting into detail, my first conclusion is that I am convinced this agent and this product cannot be considered as a Russian or an American weapon.
A published analysis of the anthrax mailed to government and media in Oct. 2001 shows unambiguously that silicon dioxide was present on the surface of the spores. The work was performed by the AFIP and the results can be seen here.
Does this mean, in your opinion, that the anthrax was made in a state-sponsored bioweapons lab?
Ken Alibek: We paid to much attention to the silicon oxide on the surface of the spores. I haven't seen any silicon presence on micrographs of this anthrax. We shouldn't forget that silica would be a natural component. In this case, in my opinion, silica was a natural presence in these spores. There was no special need to add silica to this anthrax.
Actually, the article does indeed say the Soviets had obtained Ames:
Serguei Popov, a scientist once based in a Soviet bioweapons lab in Obolensk, south of Moscow, said that by the early 1980s his colleagues had obtained at least two strains of anthrax commonly studied in Detrick and affiliated labs. They included the Ames strain, first identified at Detrick in the early 1980s. It became the standard used for testing U.S. military vaccines, and it was the strain contained in the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people and infected 23 in the U.S.
I'll have to check back into this thread; I'm getting ready to listen to Netanyahu on Rush. bbl
Bump for later reading.
If in fact there is any veracity to this at all, it pretty much renders the government's entire "Amerithrax" investigation completely meaningless.
I am suprised that this liberal rag wrote anything about this. I am stuck reading this paper everyday and they always tell us that Bush's statements about people trying to hurt the U.S. are exaggerated.
Thanks for the ping!
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